Source for Mexican ingredients
- Tir_na_nOg Apr 21, 2008 04:48 PM
Where is a good place in the Boston to find a wide variety of south of the border ingredients, like: chipotle pepper puree, Mexican crema and cascabel chile powder?
Just got back from San Diego and a week of great Mexican food (& tequila!) and I am really motivated to make some mole!
Theres a Latin Mkt in the SE..Don Quixote..on Washington..might have your items.
East Boston..off maverick Sq also has a lot of markets that might work.
Chipotle en Adobo that you can puree is available in various markets, including Waltham where I have seen you post on Moody Street (La Tienda, I think) and Union Sq Somerville where Tir na Nog was (La Internacional). Its a bit difficult to find Herdez which I prefer (La Internacional carries some Herdez, but I think they have La Costena chipotles... the third brand San Marcos is a bit more tomato heavy). Goya also has a chipotle (chipotle en adobo + vinegar + adobo complete seasoning) marinade which is acceptable and dirt cheap, although you could make your own better, available at Market Basket. HiLo in JP (and some places in Chelsea/Eastie) has a better selection of Herdez and might be a bit more reliable for those chipotles (I don't get there very often, though). I have heard that Whole Foods has canned pureed chipotles, but just do it yourself (Similar sources: Christina's I think has large tins of San Marcos and Cardullo's has some Herdez at huge markup). La Internacional always carries dried epazote.
Salvadoran and Guatemalan crema are available in those places, often "Mexican-style" crema, but personally I decide mostly based on what fillers it has and hints on the label, although there are some variation between brands/country.
Ground Cascabel Chile Powder is a Christina's kind of thing, but you can probably find the peppers to grind inexpensively in markets (I can't picture offhand what cascabel looks like, but some of the supermarkets have better dried pepper stocks than the bodegas and tiendas).
If you really want _Mexican_ ingredients, for instance multiple kinds of Oxacan string cheese, Chelsea and then East Boston are the places to go. I would start with Market Basket in Chelsea and then branch out from there (they don't carry some more specialty stuff like herdez, but have a huge range of staples). Compared to Salvadoran stores with parallel and similar ingredients, there is a lot more out there.
La Chapincita Market on Moody St. in Waltham has a pretty good selection of dried chiles, and tortillas (pretty sure Cinco de Mayo), crema, queso fresco and anejo, along with canned products such as chipotles en adobo. They also have corn husks, herbs, and a small amount of produce. There are several international produce markets along Moody, also, that are worth checking out.
If you're looking for produce, though, it's probably best to hit up La Chapincita, and then head over to Russo's on the Waltham/Watertown/Newton line. They had poblanos for $1.49/lb. last week, and also had Cinco de Mayo tortillas. I don't believe they have much in the way of dried chiles or other Mexican staples.
It depends on where in the city is convenient for you. Hi-Lo in JP has the best selection at the best prices. However, pretty much any of the little places in JP/Rosi will be a decent source and Village Market in Rosi has a good selection as well, but the prices suck compared to Hi-Lo and I don't think anyone can beat the combo of great selection and good prices that Hi-Lo has.
Haven't found one yet.. I'll try the Moody Street idea. I specifically was hunting for Mexican cheeses, like asadero.. I know, there are decent substitutes like jack, but I like having something more authentic.
Which is a shame, because I've found good sites for most ingredients in Boston, with the exception of things like Tasmanian beaver tongue and the rare Ukrainian "Beet of a Thousand Truths"
La Internacional market in Union Square, Somerville - coincidentally, just down the block from the site of the former Tir na Nog pub.
Don't remember the specifics, but have found some really good Mexican ingredient places in Lynn just chowing around. Also, eastie and Chelsea have lots of options.